Friday, January 28, 2011

for the record

While my parents were visiting, my Dad tried to teach Kiddo "I'm a little teapot." Yes, that includes singing and dancing.

She would not participate.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

an honest appraisal of my hair

Dinner conversation last night:

Kiddo: Mom, what's in your hair?

Mom: (touching at where she was looking) "I don't think there's anything there, honey.

Kiddo Mom, what's in your hair?

Mom: (feeling again) I don't feel anything, can you get it out?

Kiddo: Mom, what's in your hair?

Mom: Really, I don't know, come get it out.

Daddy: I don't see anything.

Kiddo: Mom, what's in your hair?

(long pause)
Mom: I have curly hair, it doesn't lie flat like yours. It's just my hair.

Kiddo: Whoa.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Can you get enough of her? Because I can't.


I took this picture to catch the impish grin on Babs' face. I love it. I also took this picture to show Kiddo's TV watching chair. It actually sits in the corner, but that day she moved it to watch TV. Interestingly enough, she moved it back once she was done.

As I looked at the picture I realized that while those two things are important, this is an even more accurate snapshot of our life, because there, larger than life, is Larry the Cucumber, posing as Joshua the prophet. She watches this single episode of Veggie Tales as much as I will let her. She cannot get enough of it. And she does not like any other episode.

So here are the current companions of my life: Babs, Kiddo, and Larry. (My husband makes as many cameos as work and church allow.)

Friday, January 21, 2011


As we drove to ballet class last week, Kiddo saw a snowman. "It looks like a dishwasher!" she announced. Hmmm I thought, a dishwasher? And then I realized, she doesn't know what the appliance is, she thinks a dishwasher is someone who washes dishes. And I'm sure that snowman may very well look like someone who washes dishes (like me or her daddy).

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

new shoes

A friend at church saw Babs for the first time in a few weeks, and was very excited to see her one tooth poking out. "She's got a tooth!" she repeated a few times. Then she asked me who saw it first. "Umm," I replied, trying to see if I could remember even when it was noticed.

She explained that whoever sees the tooth first has to buy the baby her first pair of walking shoes.

"Grandma!" I suddenly remembered.

Monday, January 17, 2011

going to the promised land

We finally read the Book of Mormon consistently as a family (well, three out of four of us). It took Kiddo getting old enough and, more importantly, finding a plan that worked for us. As suggested in General Conference, we read a verse for each family member that participates. At three verses a night, we expect to finish in three or four years.

After reading the verses, we recap for Kiddo. On Sunday night, Nephi and his family finally reached the Promised Land. As I told her this, she exclaimed, "Just like the vegetables!"

She is learning something as she watches VeggieTales "Josh and Big Wall." So that's comforting.


After the initial moment of her statement (and about four more viewings of the show) a bunch of thoughts feel into place. The Lord takes his chosen people to the promised land, in ancient Mesopotamia, in ancient Americas, and in pioneer days, and today. Also, he announces their arrival before it has actually happened. The Lord announces their arrival, and they wait for the miracle (and of course, do their part). He did this with Joshua, he did this with Lehi, and he does it with my little family.

We are again in a period of unknowing about where we'll be in our future. We don't know when, where, or how, a new job will work out. But the promise has come, and we await the miracle.

Friday, January 14, 2011

in honor of my parents' visit...

... I actually cleaned the bathroom. No, actually, although I always aspire to a clean bathroom for my mom visiting, this is just good timing. The real reason I cleaned the bathroom is because my 8 1/2 month old keeps crawling into it, and it grossed me out.

Today while I was talking to my sister I heard Babs crawling into the bathroom, and felt smug, because now it was clean. Then I heard some random noises, and Kiddo telling her no (Kiddo was using the potty). Foiled by the baby! She was playing in the garbage.

This morning we told Kiddo that Grammy and Grandpa were coming to visit next week. She immediately informed us that when Grandpa arrived he would help her decorate the tree (the plot of one of her books). I suggested that probably wasn't the case. "Then he will dance and sing with me!" she announced excitedly. She obviously needs to spend more time with her Grandpa.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Babs often pulls at her copious amounts of hair while she nurses. Today I was feeding her and had Kiddo leaning right next to me. I noticed two hands pulling at Babs' hair, one larger than the typical 8-month old one. I looked at Kiddo who explained to me, "Both of us are sharing Babs' hair."


After I took pictures of the crying Kiddo, she stopped crying long enough to look at the pictures. Then to ask to take some. Then I figured I'd take one of the three of us. As I pressed the button Babs moved. This is much more true to life than some posed picture any way.

when no means yes

It started snowing Tuesday night, and was supposed to snow all Wednesday. So with three or four inches (that were quickly being cleared away) my husband's university closed down, and we got an unexpected snow day. Yes!

My husband left mid-afternoon to do some errands. He popped back in to grab something before running off to the last one. He asked Kiddo if she wanted to go. She said, as always, "no, I'll just stay inside." We pushed her a little, because a lot of time she says no, but means yes. We even went so far as to start putting her socks on. At this point, her no's had started to be just a little hysterical, so we backed off and told her that she could stay home. She happily started twirling again, and my husband finished getting ready to go with his feelings slightly hurt.

As soon as the door closed, with daddy on the other side, she let out a horrendous cry: "Wait! I wanted to go with Daddy!" And then she started crying and crying and crying. I almost ran after him, then realized that a little dose of consequences would be a good thing. I figured she'd cry for a moment, then forget, and move on with life.

She cried the entire time he was gone (mercifully, only ten minutes or so). She kept insisting she wanted to go, I kept reminding her she had said she wanted to stay. In reality, I laughed at her most of the time. She was so intent on being sad. I tried to teach her how to be sad without crying, but that just started her off more. So we took pictures.

My mom says that Kiddo cries about emotions. This story, juxtaposed with an incident today, shows that. Today she fell backwards down three steps, landed on her back and hit her head. She certainly cried. But after about a minute I explained I couldn't really comfort her until we got to our friends' house and gave Babs to someone else to hold. So she stopped crying, we walked upstairs. When we walked in, Angelina was on TV, and that was the end of that.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

and we're back

We've really only been home three days. It feels like our vacation was another life time ago. Our front door lock broke while we were gone, so if we want our home to be locked up while we're out, we have to leave through the back door. It also means that if I've forgot anything, it stays forgotten. And, it feels like all the people we love and serve here were waiting for us to get home, so we can help them so more. I'd really just like to get my laundry done. Or take a nap for the next two years.

Instead I'll take a 15 minutes nap, and then try to find free clinics in my area for a new family. Any suggestions on how to do that? Or volunteers to do my laundry?

Or even more useful, an answer that my three-year old will hear about why she can't have her daddy's licorice?

Monday, January 10, 2011

whole lot of love

Kiddo loves most everything. She has been known to try to hug the car, and sigh "I love our car."

But most recently she is obsessed with familial love, and will talk about how we all love each other, except it is very specific. "Daddy loves me. Daddy loves Babs." "Our baby loves her big sister," and so forth.

And sometimes, she leans over as I'm putting her to bed, and says softly, "I love you really much" and I smile, and tell her "I love you really much too."

for JB - or what we've been up to

About 18 months ago, when we were seriously considering which parents we would move back in with, we sincerely and frequently prayed to find a good situation for our family, and be in a place where we could serve God. Then my husband's current job showed up, and we found a place to live, and our prayers were answered.

Of all the things this place is, it is certainly a place where we can serve God. The members of our little congregation have many issues and concerns in their lives, and my husband and I are often in the thick of helping. We are grateful to do this. It is nice to give (although we were also grateful to receive).

Currently, much of my free time, and not so free time, is spent helping a new family to our area. They are from Africa, but spent the last few years in Moscow. They speak French, a tribal language, and Russian, plus a very little English. Because I was a missionary in France many years ago, I speak English, with some French. Between my French language skills, and the fact that we live just around the corner from them, we have been doing a lot to help them get settled. The biggest hurdle is registering their four school age children into school.

The school district says it is a three step process, but it's really closer to four or five. And I am part of every step so I can translate and also smooth over cultural barriers. We've had two visits to schools so far. The first visit was fine. The second time, the school nurse was not happy to help. Luckily that time I had Babs in tow. Once the nurse got a glimpse of those amazing blue eyes and sweet smile she softened up towards us (yay for the power of babies!). Tomorrow we have doctor's appointments. Then vaccinations. Then more school visits. My goal is to have them registered within the next two weeks.

Then I can work on my next issue: getting Babs to only wake up once a night instead of twice. And then to sleep through the night. Because I think that if we can get her to sleep through the night, then she'll stop waking up Kiddo, and maybe, just maybe, then we can all get some rest.

Friday, January 7, 2011

the post I feared

Kiddo has a cousin that is just two months older than her. I think it is hard to imagine two more different girls. Yet, I still believe they were good friends in heaven, there is a reason two such beautiful and delightful girls were born into the family so close to each other, and I look forward to opportunities for them (and thus our families) to be together (hence the job application I made my husband fill out for my brother's future place of employment).

Last Sunday my neice became a Sunbeam, and it appears to have been a great experience for everyone. I'm really glad about that. My daughter should have also become a Sunbeam last Sunday. She should have learned, like her cousin, she was a child of God (now I need to see if she knows that...), got a cute hat, and been welcomed into the world of primary. Instead she attended nursery again. And will for the forseeable future, because there is nothing in our branch that supports the gospel learning of three year olds, except me and my husband. There is a great system for one and two year olds, and a decent system for six years and up. But nothing for Kiddo. It kind of makes me sad...

But I have been assured that "it will be okay."

The Spirit often whispers to me that things will be okay. I always believe. But I never quite know what it means until I can look back on a situation, because I have long since learned that "okay" by God's definition is rarely the same as "okay" that I naively map out. The okay for Kiddo's time is still unfolding.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

coming home

We told Kiddo we were going home the next day. But I try to spell out experiences for her very explicitly, so she has appropriate expectations of what is coming up.

Yes, we're going home, but that means we go to the airport, fly on two planes (and spend a long time on each plane) then take two buses, then we'll be home. It will be bedtime when we get home.

To accomplish this day, we had to wake up at 5 am. It wasn't a big deal though, because by 4:30, Babs was whining in her bed, wanting to be picked up, and Kiddo was already in our bed, kicking at the side of it, making the whole thing shake. My husband and I were gamely trying to ignore both of them in hopes of eeking out a few more minutes sleep. I gave up at 4:54.

We brought both kids out to Grandma and Aunt M to enjoy their last hour of vacation, then finished getting ready.

13 hours later we walked into our home. It was nice to be gone, it is nice to be home again.